Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Vice Principal Elayna Moffitt, Lake Nelson Adventist Academy

Vice Principal Rescues Driver During Hurricane Ida

Story by Ashley Boggess 

The Lake Nelson Adventist Academy family and the entire state of New Jersey recently experienced a storm that rocked their campus. The remnants of Hurricane Ida came roaring into the state just five days into the school year. Within hours, more than eight inches of rain fell on the region, causing widespread flash flooding, and even flooding parts of the academy. The brook next to the academy rose so high that the road quickly turned into a river, stranding drivers.

Elayna Moffitt, vice principal and eighth-grade homeroom teacher, who resides close to the school building, helped rescue a driver from one of those stranded cars.

On the night of the hurricane, Moffitt opened her front door to survey the damage from the storm. “I saw my neighbor, Chris Band, wading through knee-deep water in my front yard,” Moffitt says. “He said he was going to try to help someone who was stranded in the street due to the rising water.” Moffitt offered her canoe and joined Band to try and help save the person. “As we walked with the canoe, the water was first at our ankles, then our knees,” she says. “Once the water reached my waist, I got into the canoe and helped paddle while my neighbor ‘walk-swam.’”

On the first attempt, the current pushed her and Band past the stranded man. Once the water lowered to the point in which Band could touch the ground, he walked the canoe to the back of Moffitt’s property where they tried again to reach the driver.

The second attempt was successful. But “as the driver tried to get into the canoe, it tipped over,” she says. “So, Mr. Band and I were holding onto the canoe and the man. We were pulled by the current to where the water was a little bit more shallow.”

Moffitt, Band and the stranded driver made it safely to a neighbor’s yard and front porch. The man who had been stranded “was very thankful. He said he had been standing on top of his car and holding onto the power line pole to stay out of the water. He didn’t know how much longer he would have survived in that position,” Moffitt explains. “I told him that ... there is a God in heaven who loves him and who set us to help him in this storm. And maybe now, he can get to know God for who He really is.”

Just like the man Moffitt helped rescue, many of LNAA’s students experienced some level of material loss, whether it was personal belongings or vehicles. LNAA faculty have positioned themselves to be of service to their families and support them through this storm. God spared the lives of each student, parent and faculty member, and continues to provide for them in the midst of the storms in their lives. God put His hand of protection over LNAA and has allowed them to be a beacon of hope during this difficult time, says Moffitt.

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